AlcoholAlcohol is created when grains, fruits, or vegetables are fermented. Fermentation is a process that uses yeast or bacteria to change the sugars in the food into alcohol. Fermentation is used to produce many necessary items — everything from cheese to medications.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a pattern of mental and physical defects that can develop in a fetus in association with high levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Current research also implicates other lifestyle choices made by the prospective mother. Indications for lower levels of alcohol are inconclusive.
Diagnosis Growth deficiency — Prenatal or postnatal height or weight (or both) at or below the 10th percentile FAS facial features — All three FAS facial features present Central nervous system damage — Clinically significant structural, neurological, or functional impairment Prenatal alcohol exposure — Confirmed or Unknown prenatal alcohol exposure
Dental Correlation The first step in the management of a dental patient with FAS is recognition of the condition. This is best accomplished via the medical history and open discussion with the patient or family members. Once a patient with FAS is identified, the dental practitioner must learn as much as possible about the history of the patient, including type and extent of systemic manifestations, current medications, frequency of physician visits, degree of control, and any known contributing factors.11
Consultation with the patients physician is suggested before dental care is provided to patients with systemic problems resulting from FAS. Problems generally do not occur in providing outpatient dental care if the patients systemic complications are well controlled and conservative medical care is being provided. However, if the patient is in the advanced stages of organ failure from complications of FAS or has other systemic diseases (e.g., CNS disturbances, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, or congestive heart failure), dental care may best be provided after physician consultations and in a hospital-like setting.
Treatment There is no cure for FAS, because the CNS damage creates a permanent disability, but treatment is possible. Because CNS damage, symptoms, secondary disabilities, and needs vary widely by individual, there is no one treatment type that works for everyone.
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